Monday, February 6, 2023
It has been a very satisfying and memorable upland bird season. I got to hunt with a man I have known for years (Wayne Arrington) but never had the opportunity to meet face to face or hunt with. I was privileged to share several hunts with my cousins Terry and Byron McNeal along with Byron’s son Roland and to hunt with Bob Roberts, a dear old friend from Kentucky. who couldn’t make it out last year. Of course, I spent a number of days in the field with young Mr. Fort Riley Jr. Matt Hopkins. No complaints, a great season!
Fort Riley is truly a pearl and I was gratified to see an increased number of hunters this season, but the thing that pleased me the most was that they were younger than me and thus gives me a little hope that my kind are not the last generation, and that the hunting tradition will continue.
I have taken some flak and name calling from folks who disagree with my desire to see more younger hunters in the field, and I know that I am not going to change their minds. I do want to say right up from front that I consider such an attitude to be a major threat to the future of hunting as an American tradition. We have, according to the U.S. Department of Fish and Game gone from a hunting population of ten percent in the twentieth century to five percent currently.
We continue to be one generation away from extinction, and I will repeat this axiom one more time. “When the last hunter disappears so too will the wildlife.”
We have no alternative, we must “Pass it On!”
Now if we have a nice spring, and a not too hot summer, we should see the bird numbers bounce back in time for another memorable season next fall. As for me I am looking forward to the youth spring turkey hunt coming up in April. We have six kids currently signed up with slots for six more.
Below, my grandson Zane with a Kansas double taken with one shot. This was back when you could two birds in a season. You can still take two birds but you have to travel west of highway 81 to get that second bird.
That’s all from my neck of the woods, make it a great day!